18 May 2012 No Comments
Stephen Wilcock, Master Sommelier and General Manager at the Borrowdale Hotel, loves to share his passion for wines and here he tells us the importance of a grapes’ skin colour in producing a good rosé.
“There is only one region in Europe that can mix red and white wine to make rosé and that is Champagne, all other regions make rosé wine from red grapes. In the Middle Ages red and whites were grown together so there was no red or white just really a vin Gris.
If you squeeze a red grape the juice that will emerge will be clear as the colour of wine comes from the skins.
- The main method for producing rosé is the skin contact method where the skins of the grapes stay in contact with the juice for 12-24 hours (this produces a rosé colour; red wine is made by having a much longer maceration). The juice is then run off and the fermentation carried on as if it was a white wine.
- There is also a method called Saignée which is a by-product of red wine making. Saignée is French for bleeding and when making red wine some of the juice is bled from the container which produces a rosé but leaves behind a more concentrated must.
Blush wine came on the market from America where the demand for white wine was outstripping red white so a blush wine was created to be as pale as possible. A problem with a stuck fermentation also resulted in blush wine being slightly sweet and this has now become a trend.
There are some serious rosé available such as Oeil de Perdrix from Switzerland with a colour of the eye of a partridge in death throes, or the rosé wines of Provence
We used to drink a lot of rosé such as Mateus Rosé and rosé d’anjou which were a good introduction to the world of wine.
Hopefully rosé will be taken seriously and not just a half-way house when we cannot decide whether to have white or red wine!”
If you would like to find out more about wine then why not come along to the Borrowdale Hotel for one of the wine tasting events or ask to have a short wine tasting in the new cellar before dining in the restaurant.